Banned Books, Privacy & Freedom of Expression
What do Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone, Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach, and David Guterson's Snow Falling on Cedars have in common? All these books have been banned or challenged in schools and libraries in recent years.
Do you have a banned book you'd like to read-out? Every year the American Booksellers Foundation for Freedom of Expression (ABFEE), in conjunction with the American Library Association (ALA) and other organizations, honors the freedom to read during Banned Books Week in September. This observance is the only national celebration of First Amendment rights guarding freedom of expression. As always, we will participate with displays and lists of banned books. And we will be shooting videos for any customer who wants to give a shout-out.
At Eagle Harbor Book Company, we believe that freedom of expression is inextricably linked with your right to privacy as a customer. Recently, the Colorado Supreme Court reversed a lower court decision involving Denver's Tattered Cover Book Store. That decision would have required the store to turn over information about books purchased by one of its customers. The higher court ruled that such a search warrant poses a grave threat to freedom of expression and that it "intrudes upon the First Amendment rights of customers and bookstores because compelled disclosure of book-buying records threatens to destroy the anonymity upon which many customers depend."
Freedom of speech depends on the freedom to explore ideas privately, and therefore you as a customer need to feel at liberty to purchase books about health, religion, politics, or any other subject without fear that your choices may be made public.
The owners and staff of Eagle Harbor Book Company consider it our responsibility to you, and to the First Amendment, to respect the privacy of your choice of books, magazines, and other materials. We will never sell or willingly disclose information identifying your purchases to any third party, including the government.
This is especially pertinent in light of the recently passed Patriot Act, which includes legislation making it easier for government investigators to search a bookstore's business records, including the titles of books purchased by customers.
American Booksellers Foundation for Freedom of Expression
The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression is the bookseller's voice in the fight against censorship. Founded by the American Booksellers Association in 1990, ABFFE's mission is promote and protect the free exchange of ideas, particularly those contained in books, by opposing restrictions on the freedom of speech; issuing statements on significant free expression controversies; participating in legal cases involving First Amendment rights; collaborating with other groups with an interest in free speech; and providing education about the importance of free expression to booksellers, other members of the book industry, politicians, the press and the public.